News

March recap!

This is not a joke


Birthday

Redstoner is 3 Years old as of March 29!

Staff

Now full mod!

@flying_MAchinez and @LogalCoder are now full mods! Wish them all luck on their hopefully short long-lasting job!

Some bad news

I don't like to bring bad news (at least to non-staff) but there has been a major issue with logblock and world saves when the server crashed one day, reasons as to why it happened are unknown but long story short: The server managed to drop a huge amount of data (by huge I mean about 8 billion blocks) and logblock messed up when importing an old backup of rollback data, thus we were not able to recover it all, if your plot is affected by this then contact a moderator when you see them in-game and hope at least some of the data is there (small chance but you know). Sorry for the huge inconvenience.

Minecraft 1.9

I'm not going to rewrite all the things here, there is a thread about it, if you want to know what the decision so far is, read it.

February recap!

Not so special for you, but special for us


Staff

They made it!

@Pepich1851 is now a full mod! congratulate him and lets hope he stays here for a while!
@Evbo came back from the dead basically straight to his mod position! welcome back dear friend!

@flying_MAchinez has managed to become a mod in training, wish him luck! He will need it...

Demotions Retirements

@PanFritz is probably getting annoyed by being mentioned all the time lately due to the server migration, but lets just put this here for clarity :P Pan has officially retired from his behind-the-scenes admin / host-that-nobody-should-have-known-about positions. Bye Pan! o/

Server

As you probably read in the segment above (or the past 3 blog posts...) Redstoner has migrated to a brand new server, if you want to know more about the server hardware, look here, if you want to know detailed info about the actual migration, lookie here and here.

And @Curs3d wanted me to mention it, pineapples

Server migration post mortem

We have successfully moved Redstoner to a new, more powerful server. We're talking about this beast with 8x 3.40GHz, 32GB memory, SSDs, and Gigabit network. We also have IPv6 support now.

The server does have a monthly fee which is generously donated to us by one of our players who prefers to stay anonymous. Thank you very much sponsor!
You can help them out with covering the costs by donating, all donations will go to our sponsor.


We had about 32GB of Minecraft files (mostly world data) that had to be moved at an upload speed of ~20Mbit/s. The transfer duration was estimated to be ~4 hours and we set for 5 hours during which the server would be offline. We already prepared everything for the move in the previous days, such as installing all dependencies and setting up the website, raging about utf8mb4, etc. We had a temporary server set up (as usual) and shut down the Minecraft server.

We used scp to copy the files. 32GB is a lot of data and we thought about compressing it first. There's a compression option:

Compression is desirable on modem lines and other slow connections, but will only slow down things on fast networks.

Well then, no compression; Minecraft world files are compressed anyways!

We quickly noticed this wasn't going to work out at all, maybe the large amount of files caused it to slow down by a factor of 10 compared to our estimations. The transfer was aborted and we created a tar.bz2 of our files. This took a couple minutes, but it was only 4.7GB and transfer went much faster.

Once transferred, we began extracting on the new server. This process took a while but eventually completed. Then we noticed the Minecraft data had different file sizes on the old and new servers and started investigating. This is very common due to different data structure & blocks in the underlying file systems. The odd thing was that du --bytes still reported a different size. Some time was wasted until we figured that we had different versions of du and that only the size of directories varied – not the actual files.

For the database (website, PlotMe, LoginSecurity, LogBlock, …) data we started by creating mysqldumps of each database and transferred them to the server, which only took a few minutes.

All data was imported in no time, except LogBlock. LogBlock is special...
The server was importing like crazy and processed 20,000 - 50,000 rows per second. However, with about 325,000,000 rows in total, this took about 2 hours, which was longer than we expected.

However, even that eventually completed and we did some checks to ensure the Minecraft server and all its plugins were operating as expected. Luckily this was the case. We also ensured our backups, scripts, and cron jobs were running flawlessly.

The TS3 server was moved without any problems, and we switched the redstoner.com domain to our new IP address. The temp server was shut off and replaced with a message of the new server IP while DNS was propagating.

At this point the Minecraft server, website, and TS3 server were fully operational again.
The total time of downtime for the Minecraft server was 6.5 hours (1.5 more than planned).
Website and TS3 were only down for a few minutes each.


You should be able to join the server as usual, if you didn't notice anything, that's great! If you feel something is odd, please report it to us.

I would like to thank @PanFritz again for previous hosting and our new server sponsor for donating this rad new machine! Consider donating!

Planned maintenance for server migration

We've been working on our new server to set everything up for the migration, as announced in the last blog post.
The only things yet to be moved are the database and the actual Minecraft server. We estimate the move to take about 5 hours due the rather large size of world files.

We will start at 19:00 UTC, you can check your local time here.

Website and TeamSpeak server should be available until the last minutes of the migration, and we will provide a temporary server as usual during maintenance.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

It bears repeating, thank you very much @PanFritz for generously hosting Redstoner for free during all this time.
This server (and thus, its community) most certainly would no longer exist if it weren't for you providing this extremely reliable service!

January recap!

Always Watching


Staff

Haider

@LogalGamer is now on his long way to mod, wish him luck!

Nuuuu

@L0rdDrag0 has decided to stepped down, it was fun while it lasted, you helped us a lot Lerdy! Bye!

Fixed™ issues

We were experiencing some technical issues with LogBlock and weren't logging data for about 2-3 days.

For the coders/technical people here, quote from @jomo:

tl;dr: mysql index grew larger than java max integer, causing a ton of problems

Hosts

We were offered a brand new server from an undisclosed™ host! @PanFritz has been hosting us the past 2.5 or so years and has done a great job, everyone give Pan a huge thank you!

What are we getting?

Newer, faster and more secure hardware!
Namely the newest and greatest Intel® Core™ i7-6700 Skylake CPU, 32 GB of RAM, two 500 GB SSDs in RAID 1 and a very nice 1 Gbps connection!

More details to come in the next blog-post either before or after we migrate the servers next week

December recap

It's over! .-.


Not much has happened to the minecraft server itself, actually nothing at all, but there are some things worth mentioning!

Staff

Welcome

@Pepich1851 is now a mod in training! Wish him luck on his way to demotion being a good mod!
@KPkiller1671 has decided to come back! Welcome back to the staff team KP! :D

Bye :c

@ArhurValk has decided to step down, his interests have shifted away from minecraft, none the less it was a great time working with you Arhur!

Website

The website is now secure™, thanks @jomo!
You can find out more information here.
A few website related bugs have also been fixed. (over myah and myah)

There is also a new rule (#9) that you should definitely check out! to the info page we go!


And mainly...

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Overusing formatting may only be allowed on special occasions

Happy (Slightly Early) New Year!

2015 has been an exciting year for us all. Among other things we reached 1000 users, updated the website to https, introduced the mod in training and +developer ranks, celebrated our 2nd birthday and created a public Slack group!

Here are this year's best threads (in my opinion). Please don't necropost on them!:

This lovely compliment.
This interesting request.
This...thing.
This beautiful story x')
This sorcery.
Nemes' wondrous grepping skills.
This bananas idea. I'll let myself out.
This shocking revelation.
When Dico joined for the first time (loljk).
L0rd and Logal's love story.
Nemes the super troll.
top kek.
The 'huepocalypse'.
jomo's gif thread.
Rick's fanart. More please! :D
The Deeeeeeedo Center for Kids Who Can't Type Good.
jomo's set of instructions on how to get OP.
Logal's pretty cool coding project.
The setup thread.
That time I was a complete carrot.
1337!
The spooky scery skelitonz.
When we discovered Nemes' secret job.
When @Barrygold_ became a hero.
Retards on Helium. The video is currently private but hopefully Skril will fix this soon as I have asked him to.
The most magical StrawPoll ever.
Derp.
When we discovered that Redstoner = Illuminati.
This is scary.
The time @TheWildDefender enlightened us all with a picture of his eye.

Wildz Eye

Also not forgetting all the 'story' threads. Total gold, all of them. Oh, and the A...Gamer_ and Jeg crazes.

Here's to a great 2016! Thank you @Mr_RedSheep for the awesome firework display C:

Double email bug fixed

We've long had this bug where people would get two separate emails when someone replied and mentioned them in the same reply.

We have now accepted the first pull request to this very website which fixes the double email bug. Many thanks to @Futsy for submitting it!

Email links are fixed

Yesterday we introduced https to redstoner.com.

There was a tiny bug where links in emails looked like https://redstoner.com:80/..., which is basically trying to use https via an http connection and obviously doesn't work very well:

firefox screenshot

chrome screenshot


The issue has been fixed and links from emails should work just fine again.
Shout out to @LogalGamer who had noticed and reported the issue as well!

Other than that, I've not seen or heard of any problems and there have been more than 150 secure sessions each hour, so there don't seem to be any major issues.

Secure all the things!

Today is a good day. A few hours ago, Let's Encrypt went from closed beta to public beta, allowing us (and everyone else) to get a free SSL certificate.

secure all the things

That means you can now access redstoner.com via encrypted HTTPS instead of plain text HTTP!

Although Redstoner may not be the most intimate website, there are still many reasons why encryption is important, those include protecting your privacy and protecting you from hacking, censoring, or theft attacks. Did you know anyone can take over your website accounts via HTTP on a public WiFi? Of course, global surveillance is also a reason – either directly or indirectly. Anyway, you now log in (and browse) securely!

A+ Grade Security

Qualys screenshot Redstoner

See the results here.

Compare that to Google:

Qualys screenshot Google

Why am I logged out?

Sorry for that, I had to kick everyone out to make sure your insecure sessions are no longer valid. Otherwise there was a change your website account could still be taken over. That's not going to happen again, however.

Redirect to HTTPS

From now on, any attempts to connect to Redstoner via HTTP will be redirected to HTTPS, so you don't have to do anything.
We're also redirecting from subdomains (such as www.redstoner.com) to redstoner.com to keep things simple.

HSTS

We're also using HTTP Strict Transport Security so your browser will remember that redirection. It will automatically switch to HTTPS even before it tries to connect to Redstoner.com

OCSP stapling

Yet another fancy term, meaning Online Certificate Status Protocol, allows us to revoke a (possibly updated, insecure, or compromised) certificate and adds an additional layer of security.

Subresource Integrity

We're also making use of Subresource Integrity which protects you from a compromised CDN (a website that hosts some JavaScript code for us) by comparing a checksum specified by Redstoner.com with the actual checksum of the requested JavaScript file.

Partial encryption & Images

On some pages, your browser might warn you about 'Mixed Content'. It might be displayed as a lock with a warn icon:
Mixed Content

It simply means redstoner.com is fully loaded via HTTPS but some images in the forum were loaded via HTTP.

That's something we can hardly fix, but you can help by embedding images with a https://imgur.com/… or https://puu.sh/… link.

Old devices

Please note that some really old devices or browsers might not be able to access the site anymore. They have serious security flaws and should not be used anymore. Upgrade your browser, if possible.


I'll try to answer any questions in the comments below.